The Teaching Opportunity of a Lifetime

The Summer Science Program is an independent nonprofit, operating residential enrichment programs for gifted high school students on college campuses. Campus positions are temporary full-time residential for 45 days (inclusive of travel). All faculty receive competitive salary, housing, meals, and travel reimbursement.

Equal employment and equal educational opportunity have been and will continue to be fundamental principles at SSP, where employment and enrollment are based upon personal capabilities and qualifications without discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, citizenship, or disability. We value a diverse organization and encourage all qualified individuals to apply.

Campuses and 2018 Faculty Dates (inclusive of travel)

  • SSP in Astrophysics @ New Mexico Tech: June 12 – July 26
  • SSP in Astrophysics @ CU Boulder: June 19 – Aug. 2
  • SSP in Biochemistry @ Purdue: June 12 – July 26

Dr. Adam Rengstorf teaching gravity
Dr. Adam Rengstorf teaching gravity

No ordinary summer job … the Summer Science Program is a unique and unusually rewarding opportunity to teach and mentor some of the most promising young scientists in the world. SSP seeks faculty to lead research teams of extraordinarily gifted high school students (rising seniors).

Since 1959, hundreds of scientists have been associated with SSP as a student, faculty, or both, including George Abell (UCLA), Edward Bertschinger (MIT), Ronald Irving (Univ. of Washington), Ed Krupp (Griffith Observatory), Jerry Nelson (UC Santa Cruz), Douglas Richstone (Univ. of Michigan), Thomas Steiman-Cameron (Indiana Univ.), Elizabeth Simmons (Michigan State), Nicholas Suntzeff (Texas A&M), Alma Zook (Pomona), and many more.

UCLA astronomer George Abell served as SSP Academic Director for 12 years. The "Abell Clusters" of galaxies he discovered are the largest known structures in the universe. Photo by Ken Nordhauser '76.
Renowned UCLA astronomer George Abell served on SSP’s faculty for 12 summers. (photo by Ken Nordhauser)

Nothing else I’ve done is as rewarding as teaching at SSP.” –Dr. Douglas Duncan, Univ. of Colorado Boulder

The Summer Science Program is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse faculty and encourage all qualified individuals to apply. (Non-US citizens must have legal permission to work in the US; we cannot sponsor employment visas.) All positions are open until filled.

SSP is an intensive immersion experience and a residential community. Faculty live on campus (almost) continuously for 45 days and 44 nights, sharing most meals with the group, and many evenings.

Academic Director / Associate Academic Director

Two lecturing faculty on each campus are experienced and enthusiastic educators at the college level. They teach the theory and practice associated with the research project, dividing the material according to respective interests. Lecture outlines, homeworks, procedures, and other academic resources are provided. The pace is faster than most college courses. Some time is reserved for topics of special interest to the faculty.


The Astrophysics project includes observational astronomy and vector calculus applied to celestial mechanics, specifically the determination of orbital elements from a series of observations of a near-earth asteroid, and related topics. Openings for 2018: TBD

The Biochemistry project involves protein expression and purification, enzyme activity assays, and molecular modeling, including homology modeling, ligand docking and ligand optimization. Openings for 2018: Associate Academic Director at the Purdue campus, to teach molecular modeling, ligand docking and optimization.

Site Director

The Site Director manages residential life (participant behavior, health, housing, dining) and logistics (facilities, field trips, special events), working closely with the other faculty and host campus personnel. Candidates should have 5+ years of experience working with high school students. The position is perfect for a teacher – especially a science or math teacher – seeking a change of pace and a chance to work outside of the classroom with extremely bright and motivated teens. Four-year degree required; some administrative and/or supervisory experience is preferred. Openings for 2018: Purdue campus.

Teaching Assistant and Residential Mentor

Openings each summer on all three campuses. Interviews begin in early January; apply by Dec. 31 if possible.

TA with students
TA Ioana Plesca helps students in the computer lab

Our TAs are tutors and academic instructors, assisting participants in using equipment and software, and with homework, under the direction of the Academic Director. Just as important is their simultaneous role as residential advisors and personal mentors, supervising students in the dorm and organizing recreational and social activities, under the direction of the Site Director.

My summers with SSP were some of the best of my life, and I’m incredibly thankful to have had the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing program not once, but twice.” – Rebecca Sellers TA ’16, ’17

Applicants should be rising college seniors, graduating seniors, or graduate students, preferably studying a STEM field. Many TAs are SSP alumni but we do hire non-alumni each summer. For the Astrophysics project, Python experience is a plus. For the Biochemistry project, wet lab experience is required.

Inquiries – Applications

Campus Job Descriptions
Faculty Application Form
Send completed application and resume by email or mail to:
admin@ssp.org
Summer Science Program
108 Whiteberry Dr
Cary, NC 27519
voicemail (866) 728-0999